The Consistency Contest
by Jim Stovall

This time of year as the weather lends itself toward outdoor activities, the emergency rooms of hospitals all across the country are filled with "weekend warriors." "Weekend warriors" are middle-aged, former, or would-be athletes who have decided to begin exercising again or take up where they left off in their sports career. Unfortunately, they see no need to ease back into physical activity. They believe that they can simply pick up where they left off when they were in high school.

Success in exercise, sports, or in our business and personal lives, comes from a long-term, consistent performance, not a short-term sprint.

We have all met the sales person who, for some reason, got short-term motivation and decides to break every record this week. For one or two days, he or she makes more sales calls than anyone has ever done. Unfortunately, by the third or fourth day, the short-term motivation has dwindled, and they are performing at their old mediocre level or, in some cases, even lower.

Success is not about what can you do today or even tomorrow. It is a matter of what can you do every day without fail from now on. Physical trainers tell us that it takes surprisingly little exercise to get or stay in shape if you will be absolutely consistent. The short-term bursts of activity do little other than promote injuries and a deflated ego. Investment experts tell us that the surest strategy to wealth-building is not to make an immediate killing in the market but, instead, to practice a systematic plan of savings and prudent investing.

Think of the things in your business or personal life you would like to improve. Ask yourself, "What single activity would create the improvement I seek?" Then, decide to practice this positive, impactful activity on a regular and consistent basis from now on. Always remember the fabled race between the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise performed consistently while the hare started with an erratic mad dash followed by failure and defeat.

Success is not a product of having one great day. Instead, success is a product of doing something great every day.

Today's the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author, columnist, and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at

Articles by Jim Stovall | Visit Jim Stovall's website: | Many more articles on Personal Development, Executive Performance and Inspiration and Interestingness in
The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2002 by Jim Stovall. All rights reserved.

Current Issue - Archives - CEO Links - News - Conferences - Recommended Reading